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Five things to watch for after the Rams' bye week

The Rams have eight regular season games left following their Week 10 bye.

As they begin preparation for Week 11 against the Seahawks and the remainder of the regular season, identifies five storylines for fans to watch.

1) Stafford expected to start vs. Seahawks; other reinforcements on the way

Rams head coach Sean McVay on Monday said they expect to get Matthew Stafford (right thumb), Rob Havenstein (calf), Ernest Jones (knee) and Bobby Brown III (knee) back this week. McVay last week said he expects running back Kyren Williams (ankle) expected to return in Week 12.

McVay last week said those returns will offer an opportunity for Los Angeles to play more consistently as they did earlier on this season.

"We're talking about a lot of significant names that have been big time contributors for us that we have not had," McVay said on Nov. 6. "Those guys are very, very important cogs in the big picture."

According to McVay, Stafford was able to throw in individual drills during Monday's practice and grip the football. McVay said the team expects Stafford to start on Sunday against the Seahawks.

Brown has been on Injured Reserve since Oct. 11 and was designated for return to practice on Monday.

2) A new backup quarterback

The Rams waived Brett Rypien during the bye week last week and signed Carson Wentz.

McVay on Monday said signing Wentz was "a chance to upgrade the quarterback room." They feel good about Stafford returning this week, but liked the opportunity to add another experienced player to the room.

3) Will the starting secondary stay the same?

Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris leading into Week 9 against the Packers alluded to possible changes at outside cornerback, and the Rams wound up starting Cobie Durant opposite Ahkello Witherspoon rather than Derion Kendrick, with Quentin Lake taking over at star for Durant.

However, Durant sustained a shoulder injury against the Packers and was replaced by Duke Shelley.

4) Opportunities for other rookies

Speaking of the secondary, McVay on his coach's show last week was asked by Voice of the Rams J.B. Long about rookies knocking on the door with a chance to break into the rotation, and brought up Tre Tomlinson's name and praised his work as a special teams contributor.

McVay also mentioned being hopeful to get defensive back Jason Taylor II off of IR at some point.

And, as mentioned in the rookie check-in article, outside linebacker Ochaun Mathis has seen some action at edge and on special teams, so it will be interesting to see whether he sees an increase in playing time over these next eight weeks.

5) Will the Rams get other tight ends involved to help Higbee?

McVay said postgame in Week 9 that Higbee has been "fighting through a lot of stuff, and is playing with something that restricts his hand on his right thumb." McVay also said the Rams were trying to figure out the balance between taking a veteran contributor like Higbee off of the field and mixing in players like Brycen Hopkins and Davis Allen.

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